Is the US government acting ethically towards detainees with regards to confinement, access to legal representation, torture methods - Essay Example

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More than 3000 people died and hundreds of thousands more bruised psychologically. The emerging new trends of extreme aggressive behavior, in the form of terrorists’ acts or the cases where low tolerance have often resulted…
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Is the US government acting ethically towards detainees with regards to confinement, access to legal representation, torture methods
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9/11 was a black day in the history of United s. More than 3000 people died and hundreds of thousands more bruised psychologically. The emergingnew trends of extreme aggressive behavior, in the form of terrorists’ acts or the cases where low tolerance have often resulted in violent events primarily due to fast transforming societal dynamics which is increasing becoming heterogeneous. The threats from terrorist outfits are the harsh realities of our time. In such a scenario, it becomes important to anticipate, preempt, detect and deter threats to the homeland and its people from terrorist attacks, natural disasters or any other emergency. But the ethical consideration in acting towards detainees with regards to confinement, access to legal representation, torture methods etc remain the most pertinent issues of the contemporary times in America.
The widespread cases of in-house torture and in-human treatment of wartime prisoners and civilian detainees have brought to the fore the need for more effective measures of ethical paradigms and human rights. The Guantanamo torture of detainees and Abu Ghraib, unlawful detention of civilians and other such cases expose the human rights violations of American forces and homeland security. The aftermath of 9/11 has brought out ‘war on terrorism’ where torture of innocent has become a by-word for preemptive and preventive actions against future terrorist acts. The post 9/11 scenario has seen a marked paradigm shift in the outlook of the racial and religious background of the people and has especially been traumatic for persons of Moslem origin and Asians.
The general motives of the terrorists in this country and abroad involve coercive tactics and unlawful intimidation of the government bodies to force the government to accede to their vested interest regarding political, ideological or religious demands. To safeguard people’s interests, new strategies and plans were required to be developed and enforced. US Patriotic Act was amended and renamed ‘USA Patriot and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act’ (USPA). It was made more stringent and extra statutes included with wide ranging terrorists relating offences like deliberate and destructive activity against the state or its people resulting in loss of life or property, money laundering, surveillance and detention of people under suspect of terrorist activities etc. with capital punishment introduced. Jane Mayer asserts that ‘United States made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world - decisions that not only violated the Constitution to which White House officials took an oath to uphold… prisoners, some of them completely innocent, were subjected to treatment more reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition than the twenty-first century’ (Mayer, 2008).
It is true that laws are need to make Americans feel safe emotionally, physically and politically and reinstate public confidence by implementing a series of legal and administrative measures to combat any future terrorist acts in the state. But it is very important to understand the motivations behind the terrorism when engaged in counterterrorism efforts, mainly because today the terrorism has become high tech and spread globally, infiltrating the society. Congressman David Price says that ‘Torturing an individual inflicts cruel and unusual punishment upon an individual without granting him or her due process of law’ (Price, 2008). Indeed, ethical considerations become imperative because if not handled with cautious and premeditated techniques and strategies, involving the in-depth analysis of the socio-psychological background of the terrorist, innocent people may become the victims of the state’s anti-terrorism laws.
Mayer, Jane. (2008). The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals. Doubleday. NY.
Price, David. (13 September, 2008). Parr center for Ethics Symposium. Available from: [Accessed on 21 October 2009].
US Patriot Act.Available from: [Accessed on 21 October 2009]. Read More
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